Archives– July 2009:

What Can Companies Learn From Tall Folk?
Posted July 17th, 2009 @ 3:53 pm PST

I just came back from giving a talk on how companies can profit by meeting the needs of the 35% who don't fit a size medium, and it went so well that I want to talk a little about it.

There's a lot of tall money to be made. As my book research showed, tall consumers have tons of dollars--and nowhere to spend them. To the point that many tall folks simply don't shop anymore, and grudgingly buy plane tickets and furniture only when necessitated. I am this consumer, I know her well. My needs are so poorly met that when a company provides even marginally-appropriate products and services, I think it's Christmas and tell all my friends.

This is not just a tall issue. The tallest 15% and smallest 15% are sitting ducks, just waiting to spend money with companies that address their needs. They are passionately loyal, and shopping feels more like supporting a good cause.

A few companies have figured this out--JetBlue's campaign to offer reasonable economy leg room is genius, and Tall Girl Shop, Long Tall Sally and Casual Male have all capitalized by providing clothing for the long-of-leg. There are also hotels that provide long beds, and European stroller companies that offer extensions. To say that these companies are beloved is not an understatement.

I speak alot about how companies can develop inclusive marketing strategies and product offerrings--how to find the tall and small folks to buy 'em. And the message seems to be getting through. Amazing things happen when tall folks voice their needs.

When Tall Authors Get Stuck in Chairs
Posted July 9th, 2009 @ 12:00 am PST

Today I did a very fun podcast for the New York Times Book review (you can see their review here!), and met the lovely Rafael Yglesias, 6'4", author of the novel  A Happy Marriage,which also just received a stellar review.

Rafael told me a story about a little trip he took to Broadway:
"I went to one of those old houses where the seats are not only draconian in the general cutting off of leg room, but they are also quite curved, so that to take advantage of what little space there is, you have to keep your legs spread wide."

In the middle of the show he forgot that he was in a public space, and, "thrilled by something in the show, I sat up straight, putting my feet together, knees directly toward the curve. I got stuck. My knees were wedged against the curve, my back flush with the seat, and for a terrible moment, I couldn't shift position at all.

Just so you know, I was a New York Magazine scribe at the time, and had I heard about this, I would've definitely written a gossip item entitled "Celebrated Author Stuck in Chair."

"I got a little panicked and wondered if the Fire Department was going to have to bring in the jaws of life. Reflecting on that possible humiliation, I twisted as hard and violently as I could and got my knees free--at the cost of wrenching my back so that I was in pain for weeks." Since then, Rafael has "spent thousands making sure that I have an aisle seat for fear that next time I will have to be rescued by New York's finest."

One more item for the long list of tall hazards! Sit carefully, folks.

the Book
The TALL Book [signed copy]The TALL Book [signed copy]
by Arianne Cohen

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